One of the most prestigious restaurant guides in the world has officially released its 2016 roundup of top-tier Chicago restaurants. It's time once again for the Michelin Guide to bestow its stars upon Chicago's finest, which are divvied into rankings of three stars (the most elite), two stars, and one star.
All in all, 22 restaurants made the cut for the Michelin Guide Chicago 2016 edition. The upper echelon remained the same as last year's roster, with Alinea and Grace maintaining their three-star statuses. The rest of the listing saw a bit of shakeup, though most of the restaurants are deserving carryovers from last year.
Then there's the one-star winners, which comprise the bulk of the guide. Here you have several dining stalwarts that helped pave the way for Chicago's stellar dining reputation, like Blackbird, Boka, North Pond, Everest, Tru, Topolobampo, Spiaggia, NAHA, Sepia, and moto.
But among the older guard, there are some newer contenders that represent Chicago's penchant for contemporary dining, upscale or otherwise. These include tasting menu-oriented establishments like EL Ideas, Schwa, Elizabeth, and Goosefoot, which all just so happen to be located in offbeat locations far from downtown (Lincoln Square, Wicker Park, and Douglas Park, specifically). Longman & Eagle has held its one-star ranking for a few years now; it's an important and impressive designation for the tavern and restaurant, which almost single-handedly beckoned a new era for dining and drinking in Logan Square, a neighborhood that has seen a huge boom in restaurant and bar development following Longman's opening.
Another notable entry this year us Dusek's Board & Beer, a Pilsen restaurant in historic Thalia Hall owned in part by the same people behind Longman & Eagle. The restaurants also share a chef, Jared Wentworth, making him the only chef on the Michelin list to represent two restaurants. The other new entry to the one-star ranks this year is Parachute, a contemporary Korean restaurant off-the-beaten path in Avondale. It's been one of the most surprising smash hits in terms of Chicago dining, due to the one-two punch team of husband-wife owners Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark.
Congratulations to all!
Visit viamichelin.com to view all Chicago restaurants recognized by Michelin.
Photos: Grace, Acadia, Dusek's Board & Beer